CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees Monday unanimously approved a new program at OSU-Cascades for registered nurses wanting to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

The board unanimously also amended the construction budget and plan for the Marine Studies Building in Newport and approved a remodeling project at Finley Hall, a residential dormitory on Oregon State’s Corvallis campus.

The Bachelor of Science in nursing program is scheduled to launch in the 2019-20 academic year as a part-time, fully online program aimed at licensed registered nurses in Central Oregon who are seeking to advance their careers while continuing to work. With five to seven credits per term, the program could be completed by nurses in two years.

The program, which still needs the support of the state Higher Education Coordinating Commission, would be open to all registered nurses but is designed to increase diversity in nursing leadership positions, particularly among nurses who are bilingual.

“This program will produce high-quality leaders in the nursing profession while also making the profession more diverse and emphasizing service to rural communities,” OSU President Ed Ray said. “It will be more affordable than many other bachelors of science of nursing programs, and when future demand warrants it, we will offer the program as a one-calendar-year program.”

The program, a partnership between OSU-Cascades, Central Oregon Community College and St. Charles Healthcare System, will focus on recruiting students from COCC and the greater Bend area. The board noted the program will address a shortage of bachelors of science of nursing-trained nurses in Central Oregon, where fewer than 40 percent of nurses have a bachelor’s degree.

“The program supports our land grant mission of affordability and access and places a special emphasis on rural health issues,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “Improving health and wellness is a signature area of distinction for OSU.”

The board also approved modifications to the construction plan and budget for the Marine Studies Building at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.  Latest cost estimates for a full build-out of the project totaled $64.9 million.  Design elements, including vertical tsunami evacuation, and construction market escalation contributed to the cost increases.

In response, the design of the second floor of the three-story building has been modified to accommodate a more open floor plan, and the third floor will be shelled out to allow for future completion as new programs are developed and enrollment grows.

The changes bring the budget to $61.7 million (including $1 million in additional contingency funds). That amount is more than the initial $50 million approved in 2015.

“This fiscally conservative approach will meet immediate and near-term academic and marine studies initiative program goals while providing flexibility for the future,” Ray said.

OSU-paid bonds will cover the additional $10.7 million. The rest of the funding will be $25 million from state-paid bonds and $26 million in gifts and grants. The third floor of the building would be built out in subsequent years as additional faculty are hired and students are enrolled as part of the planned growth of the marine studies initiative. The cost of building out the third floor is estimated at approximately $5 million in today’s costs.

On the Corvallis campus, the Finley Hall renovation addresses deferred maintenance and capital renewal needs, including improving restroom accessibility and privacy.

The two-phase project will take place this summer and summer 2019 at a total cost of $10.5 million, which comes from University Housing and Dining cash reserves. Over the work plan, plumbing, bathrooms, kitchens, fire protection and lounges would be upgraded.

“The university combined two projects into one to maximize savings on fees and expenses,” Ray said.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 34,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected]


Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, [email protected]

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